19 June 2010

My Church Search is Over

I am so excited right now. It turns out I have a real, honest-to-goodness Emergent church just a few towns away! Most of the churches around here labor in the seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven field, dabbling here and there with the mystical elements of the emergents, but not blatantly entering the "conversation." But this afternoon when I retrieved my mail I found this:


Naturally I investigated further and visited the website of this intriguing "worship experience." Honestly, they couldn't be more postmodern even if they tried. I wonder if there's a handbook for Emergent churches so that they are sure to incorporate every single aspect of the Emergent heresy into their organization? It seems this church holds a "traditional" and a "contemporary" service each Sunday. The real conversation happens, though, at a little thing they call "Reimagine Worship." I'll include just a few choice quotes here.
For years, there have been two major and competing approaches to worship: traditional and contemporary. Each approach has spoken to different people. And while these approaches have a lot to recommend them (we do them ourselves each week!), they don`t speak to everyone.
We think that`s because worshipping the living God is not a one-size-fits all kind of thing. And so, over the past few years, new approaches to worship have been developing all across the globe. Sometimes called ""emerging,"" ""alternative."" or ""ancient-future,"" these approaches are sensitive to the values of postmodern people.
Reimagine Worship is part of this global movement to re-think and re-consider a new approach to worship. For us, it means to re-imagine worship – to reintroduce more imagination and creativity into our worship gatherings. It also means striving for worship that is participatory, not passive; authentic, not pre-packaged; creative, not clich├ęd;communal, not individualistic; multi-sensory, not just talk; mysterious, not shallow, diverse, not shallow; and focused on Jesus and his way of life.
Interestingly, and not surprisingly, they boast links to the ELCA and laud their community activities with the neighboring Catholic church. As I watched the pictures on the side of the page change from the symbol for Emergent Village to those of Catholic icons, I read this in "Our Story":
A revolution is underway, and the old categories of traditional/contemporary or conservative/liberal just don`t fit anymore. [This church] is part of a quiet revolution going on in countless churches around the world. This isn`t just a revolution in worship style. It`s nothing less than a new way to be the church. Known as "new paradigm," or "ancient/future," or "emerging" churches, these churches are passionate about embracing both the treasures of the ancient church and the creativity and wisdom of the modern church. We value and work with evangelicals and Catholics, Pentecostals and mainline churches alike. 
Among the authors on their suggested reading list are Eugene Peterson (of The Message fame), Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel), Rick Warren, Leslie Newbigin, Anne Lamott, Dan Kimball and Brian McClaren. No, that list is not exhaustive. And in case you aren't familiar with all of these names let me sum them up with three adjectives: Emergent, Contemplative, New Age. Let me add just one more: Heretical.

Ironically, I am currently searching for a church. But alas, I do not think this will be my new church home. At the same time, I do not think it was coincidental that I received this postcard now. I will most certainly be praying over whether I should attend this church to witness the "emergent conversation" firsthand. I'm incredibly curious and would love to engage these people (fully covered with my armor of God of course!) and share the TRUE Gospel with them!

2 comments:

  1. How incredibly lucky you are to have this new church close by. HAH! We have quite a few in our area, and we have a church which is a Willow Creek wannabe. Target-rich environment for apologists.

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  2. I'm sure there are quite a few in the area, but this was the first time I saw one advertised! Naturally we have quite a few Willow Creek wannabes as well, but those don't have near the ambience as the full-blooded Emergent churches. Yes, I'm very excited to visit it one of these days!

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